There is an endless number of reasons of how to lose a tooth. Decay may have gotten out of hand before you were able to address it, or you might have just taken a clumsy step down a flight of stairs and relied a little too heavily on your canine to break the fall. Or maybe you are missing a tooth because of some other dental complication.
Whatever the case is, sometimes, life happens, and you find yourself one tooth lighter than you were just moments prior. Luckily, there are three main options to replace a missing tooth at your disposal: a dental implant, a dental bridge, or a removable partial denture.
What Is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots, and they provide a strong foundation for replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Advantages of dental implants include improved appearance, improved speech, easier eating, improved self-esteem, and better oral health. They are very durable and will last many years, and with excellent oral hygiene, they may even last a lifetime.
This replacement option does require healthy gums and bone tissue, so it may not be a good fit if you have experienced a significant amount of bone loss or have a condition like periodontitis.
Implants are easy to maintain and cause no damage to the surrounding teeth. They look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. You will need to undergo local or general anesthesia to have the titanium post surgically inserted into your jaw, and it will take between three and six months of healing before the crown is attached. This is to allow the area around the titanium post time to heal.
What Is a Partial Denture?
A partial denture can be used to anchor down one or more replacement teeth using a gum-colored piece of plastic.
A fixed partial denture can be used for a single tooth replacement as well. This method uses adjacent teeth to support the denture, resulting in a secure and functioning tooth.
What Is a Dental Bridge?
A dental bridge also utilizes adjacent teeth to support a replacement tooth, referred to in this case as a pontic. Surrounding teeth are reduced and shaped for the bridge to hold onto.
Once the bridge is properly set, it is then cemented into place. If there are multiple missing teeth in the area, a metal implant can also be used to secure the bridge.
Depending on your specific dentition and the condition of your gums, Dr. Gum will recommend a treatment option after your consultation that will best serve your specific needs.
If you would like more information on replacing a single missing tooth or are interested in more extensive restoration, call Dr. Gum’s office at (610) 746-0488.